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Turkey burgers, the lighter and leaner cousin of hamburgers, always need a helping hand to keep them from drying out and turning to hockey pucks on the grill. You can blend some grated zucchini with the meat, or add yogurt, as I do in my turkey meatballs, or try a different strategy as I've done here. For this burger, I put the cheese inside, and tucked in some diced green chile peppers, too, because there was plenty of room. Canned green chiles are not very spicy, but you can use half the amount if you prefer. While the grill is hot, throw on some onion rings, and pile those on the burgers with slices of juicy tomatoes. And if lots of cheese is your thing,... Read more →


By now, if you're a regular reader of more than one food blog, you've read plenty of anniversary posts, celebrating one year, five years, and sometimes more. You've probably read some of those posts here, too. A few days ago, this blog turned 10, and the occasion calls for some words. Ah, but what kind of words? Aspirational, or inspirational? I considered telling the truth: I spend many hours writing blog posts in my pajamas while watching shelter shows on HGTV, which means I might be even better at home renovation now than I am at cooking. Instead, I decided to look back through the archives, and as I did, I realized that not only has my blogging changed, but my cooking also has changed:... Read more →


Every Saturday for four years, beginning in February 2008, The Perfect Pantry peeked into Other People's Pantries from all around the world, as readers shared their best tips and personal touches in wonderful photographs. Pantry #1, from Mae in Michigan, showed us her spice storage and collection of Mona Lisa objects, and that set the tone for what became a favorite feature on this blog. Over the next few weeks, I invite you to revisit some of my favorite pantries, to celebrate your creativity and inventiveness, eclectic and practical storage solutions, and just plain over-the-top fabulousness. You can always browse through the entire collection of pantry photos by clicking on the Pantries link at the top of the page. If you're still dreaming of creating... Read more →


My friend Lucia married her sweetheart, Sandy, a couple of weeks ago, and when people marry in midlife, it's always a happy affair. The celebration, a potluck, demanded a festive and elegant contribution, and for that, nothing fit the bill better than Chicken Marbella. With all of the extra bits of ingredients out on the kitchen counter, and a few leftovers in the fridge, I mixed up this gorgeous salad, and it was a total winner, wedding-worthy in its own right. If you're a fan of rice and beans, or of Chicken Marbella, you'll love this salad, because it marries the two dishes. Use leftover cooked rice, canned beans, a little bit of chicken breast (or store-bought rotisserie chicken), and lots of olives, capers and... Read more →


When the weather heats up, my little kitchen does, too. One way to beat the heat is by using the slow cooker. No need to turn on the stove, or stand over it to stir-fry or sauté. In fact, no need to pay any attention at all for most of the day, save a few minutes of prep, and a few minutes of shredding at the end of the cooking. You can spend the rest of the day at the beach, in the pool, or reading a book. I love one-dish meals, and I love beef brisket (you might have guessed that by now), so you know how much I love this slow cooker shredded beef brisket that's salty, tangy, with a little bit of... Read more →


Have you had time to watch all of the food flicks from last week's list? No? I'm not surprised, as there were so many good films on the list. Here are some more recent favorites (made since the year 2000) in which food plays a role. (We didn't include documentaries. We'll do that another time.) How many have you seen? Which ones are new to you? Did we forget any? Ratatouille Chef The Lunch Box The Hundred Foot Journey Bon Appetit Haute Cuisine Julie and Julia It's Complicated Pieces of April Soul Kitchen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Tortilla Soup No Reservations Le Grand Chef Waitress Today's Special Tasting Menu Le Chef The Chef's Wife Romantics Anonymous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the remake,... Read more →